Concert Review: Junip, Le Poisson Rouge, New York, Oct 10


My favorite moment involving Junip‘s Jose Gonzalez will always be in the game Red Dead Redemption (one of the best games ever), when the character you play enters Mexico for the first time. There you are riding a horse in the wilderness and this mesmerizing song comes on. It’s a perfect moment. Much like how the character John Marston was entering the wilderness to a Gonzalez penned tune in the game, last Thursday, I was entering the New York wilderness and appropriately enough, it was soundtracked by a Junip show.

In town to for two shows to promote their second album, the Junip show presented a bunch of firsts for me, including:

1. First show I have ever seen in New York

I have been to New York many times but never felt compelled to see a show there for some reason. When this opportunity presented itself, it was a no brainer. Not only are Junip wonderful live, it was an early show as well, leaving me to do other stuff later. When you are on vacation, there’s always that awkward period between dinner where you have to decide how long you want to wait before you start hardcore drinking. Too early, and you risk over indulging and having an early night. Too late, and you risk not being buzzed enough before last call. Having a concert in between those times is absolutely perfect – you are doing something, and you can also have a little teaser. Does this make me sound like an alcoholic? I don’t know.

Le Poisson Rouge is a venue in a basement in the area called NeWasqPa. I just made that up, it stands for Near Washington Square Park. It’s a cool little place with the stage on a corner. I think the place would be much better if the stage was higher. I love that they do open pours in NYC, that’s the real way to operate. Anyways, the crowd at 7pm was quite eclectic, ranging from your normal music fans to hipsters to weirdos. It also led to my next first

2. First encounter with a sometimes A, mostly B list celebrity

I’m not really one to notice celebrities most of the time, so this was a surprise. Basically, I was standing near the door and then I saw three attractive ladies walk by. Then one of them was holding hands with this older dude, and I was like, who is this older dude and what’s he doing here. Then I took another look and I was like, holy crap, it’s Ben Stiller. He was shorter then I expected, and wearing a blazer. He also did his darnedest not to be notice but when you are a slightly older man wearing a blazer and surrounded by three women, you will get noticed. Apparently they worked together.


3. Jose Gonzalez standing

Up until Thursday, every other Junip show I had attended saw him perfectly content sitting in his chair and strumming away. The music was good but the show felt a bit Starbucky. This Junip show saw Jose not only standing, but kind of rocking out. As my friend Jess noted, it was the loudest she had ever heard them. Normally a trio, the band added a few touring band mates for a fuller, more rocking sound. They seemed to perform in a semi circle with Jose in the middle, and made me feel like I was sitting in a very very dark campfire, which was only complemented by the groups newer, more psychedelic direction. If only they had a fake LED moon light in the back, it would have been perfect. Jose Gonzalez’s voice and melody always stands out, but the drummer Elias Araya had also a particularly good night, perhaps now with a more loose reign to let it go.

All in all, a good way to start a trip

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.